The Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC) has identified 18 permanent islands within the Bakun dam area to be used as sanctuaries for the animals which are relocated under the Wildlife Rescue Programme.SFC chief executive officer Datu Len Talif Salleh said the programme, which is being carried out in stages, had made ‘significant progress’.
“We are working with all relevant parties on this, including those involved with the Bakun hydro electric power project. Everybody is playing their part and so far there are no setbacks.
“SFC has a proper logistics and eco-structure in place to enable us to rescue the animals and endemic plants,” Len Talif told a press conference after the launching ceremony of the ‘Pullman Kuching Earth Guest Discovery with Heart2Heart with Orangutan Package’ at the Pullman Hotel here yesterday.
He explained that the rescue efforts covered an area of about 60,000 hectares, and its main objective was to rescue all the plant and animal species which were deemed endemic in the
Len Talif said all the rescued flora and fauna would first be placed either in a rescue centre or released in areas not covered by water until the identified islands are given the ‘all clear’ as sanctuaries.
When asked on the percentage of animals rescued at the moment, Len Talif said that based on available statistics 27 species of mammals from 14 families and 24 genus had been rescued. Birds relocated amounted to 38 species from 21 families and 34 genus.
Of the number, there were four species of totally protected mammals while birds registered 11 species. Under the protected category, there were 14 species of mammals and six species of birds. There were nine species of mammals which came under the ‘trade ban’ category.
On plants collected thus far, Len Talif mentioned that trees accumulated the highest with about 57 per cent, followed by shrubs and climbers at 16 per cent. Herbs registered around 14 per cent while palms, aroids and orchids registered at eight, three and two per cent respectively.
According to the plants inventory and collection (pre-impoundment activities) released by SFC, it was stated that the plants were gathered from the base camp and areas known as Balui 2, Balui 4 and Linau 1.
The flora accumulated came up to 393 species, 263 genus, 141 families and 469 Herbarium specimens.
Commenting on the plant collection efforts, SFC Protected Areas and Biodiversity Conservation general manager Wilfred Stephen Landong, who was also at the press conference, said that a nursery plant had been established.
“All the figures and data of the species are kept and the nursery has all the collection of the mentioned species,” Wilfred added.